In Washington D.C., the rising tide of retail theft has pushed a CVS store to adopt a surprising strategy: replacing actual toilet paper stocks with mere photos. This drastic measure, a response to increasing theft, particularly among the homeless, is part of a broader trend of crime impacting local economies and public safety. With about 4,922 homeless individuals in D.C. in 2023, a notable increase from the previous year, the city is witnessing frequent ransacking of stores. Another CVS in Columbia Heights is a daily target for thieves, often resulting in near-empty shelves.
Washington DC CVS replaces shelves of toilet paper with framed photos of products amid rising thefts
A CVS location in Washington DC was forced to wipe its shelves clean of toilet paper and replace them instead with framed photos of the products amid rising thefts in the… pic.twitter.com/mUfhQ6vfUj
— Owen Gregorian (@OwenGregorian) November 12, 2023
In an effort to curb such thefts, customers must now request assistance to purchase these products. This tactic, becoming more common across the country, especially in Democrat-run cities, reflects a growing concern over lax enforcement and mild penalties for shoplifting. The situation has escalated to such an extent that some residents are reconsidering their decision to live in these areas due to safety concerns.
Despite a 68% increase in retail theft over the previous year, CVS has announced no plans to close its D.C. locations. However, the phenomenon is not unique to Washington D.C. In San Francisco, stores have started locking up their frozen food sections, with one Walgreens experiencing up to 20 robberies per day, leading to a near-total lockup of various goods.
This alarming trend highlights the challenges cities face in addressing retail theft and its broader implications for community safety and economic stability.